Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Davidson adds UCLA to schedule

Davidson will play @ UCLA on December 8th. John Wooden, etc......yes, that UCLA!!
How about the non-conference schedule, huh? UNC, Duke, NC State, UCLA? Wow!!! The great thing is that Coach McKillop and Coach Matheny have built the program up to the point that we can now realistically win these types of games. These are exciting times for Davidson Basketball.
Anybody up for a trip to Cali in December?
Dear Wildcat Family,
The process of developing our schedule is always very challenging. Our associate head coach, Matt Matheny, spends an extraordinary amount of time and energy meeting this challenge and has always been sensational in fulfilling this responsibility. We are close to completing our 2007-08 schedule and I thought you might like some early information about our latest addition. On December 8th we will travel to Anaheim, California to play UCLA as part of the John Wooden Classic. We will play this one game as part of an afternoon double-header and it will be another opportunity for us to be on the national stage. To paraphrase the great poet Robert Browning: "Man's reach should exceed his grasp or what's a heaven for." Our players and our staff are passionate about their commitment to make our program better. Thanks to all of you for your continuing support and inspiration.
Bob McKillop
Head Basketball Coach


Dick Barney '67 said...

Having been at Davidson in the heyday of Lefty Dreissel, I fear Davidson may once again be embarking on a Mission Impossible, to maintain a reasonable balance between the cost of athletic success at the Division I level and its rightfully- earned academic reputation. Apart from personality problems with Lefty, there was also a line that the college was not willing to cross in pusuit of Division I athletic success. While it may be fun for alumni to see Davidson compete against the likes of Duke, UCLA, North Carolina and NC State in basketball, that all comes with a price. What if Davidson loses all those games? Will people be screaming for a new coach?

Anonymous said...

Strength of Schedule.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine Davidson people ever screaming for a new coach. It would be the first time ever.

Dick Barney '67 said...

I'm sorry people can't own up to their own comments, but at least my comment provoked some thought. However, strength of schedule only works if you beat those teams. It works against you if the NCAA tournament committee decides you can't win against that level of competition. (Don't get me wrong, I will be as happy as anybody to see Davidson become the next Gonzaga.) And for those with forty years of history with the program, there have been times when the college has not seen eye-to-eye with goals of the existing coaching staff. Perhaps the best match was Terry Holland.

Bruin Alum said...

I had never heard of Davidson before.

Now I have...and that is a good thing, for you and for me.

I look forward to meeting you and your Alumni before the game in Anaheim.

-UCLA Bruin Alum

Patrick said...

Never having posted online, I made the SOS comment anonymously only due to the already apparent lack of e-holla savoir faire: Patrick Mincey ’03 weighing-in from Pinehurst, North Carolina.

I find the converse to Mr. Barney's position the least ideal: for Davidson to avoid aggressive pursuit of Division-I dominance because that action might derail the school’s academic mission is to pander to a certain naivete. To me, Mr. Barney's comments (and he respectfully is not alone, amongst his peers or my own) are better reserved for BCS school conversation. While I sympathize with those anxious alumni who worry Davidson is the next rubber stamp for the Odens and Durants of our fair game, that attitude, for me, is too self-congratulatory. Are we so good? How do we know? I see a UCLA fan posting-- sarcasm is difficult to adopt when discussing the academic and athletic standard that university boasts (though watch your back Mbah a Moute: Boris Meno would reverse-jam your 1490 SAT). Complacent with such an attitude, we appear doomed to be forever the Ephs’ southern whipping boys who consistently top the US News and World Report and dominate D-3 hoops.

In his letter, Coach McKillop’s praise for Coach Matheny resonates: a Davidson alum managing this team on the hardwood and from the front office orchestrated proverbial props from the PAC-10 to the ACC, from the LBC to the Dirty Dirty. We’re too close to the back-end of February/March for anyone to have anything very intelligent to say about RPI, SOS, SoCon rankings, and the Selection Committee. But scheduling competitively is undeniably necessary. Matt Matheny has proved himself a veritable Noah, positioning the ‘Cats to have a real chance at an at-large bid should they bobble a conference road game or two this season before the SoCon downpour in 2008 with the addition of Samford and a 20 game Southern Conference schedule.

The reality is the modern Davidson alum is disappointed to eek into the top 10 in the US News and World Report, and the modern Davidson alum is disappointed to be a 13 seed. The Board’s recent actions to negate student loans, thereby broadening accessibility to a greater applicant pool, is evidence of a great college dedicating itself to producing greater students. Why shouldn’t the men’s basketball program run suicides stride for stride?


Dick Barney '67 said...

I congratulate Patrick on his well-thought-out response. I have no disappointment with Davidson's ranking in U.S. News and World Report. However, I do believe enthusiasm for the scheduling of Duke, UNC, NC State and UCLA (although the geographic proximity of the first three is extremely attractive) should be reserved until one assesses the cost of competing at that level, not only in the recruiting wars but for the type of coaches who compete successfully at that level. For a college the size of Davidson that can be prohibitive. I do believe the NCAA has created a self-fulfilling prophecy by constantly rating Davidson at the "cannon-fodder" level by matching them with top (or near-top) seeds in the first round.

I'm not sure what "run[ning]" suicides stride for stride" is all about.

wibryan said...

I'm not sure that Davidson wants to compete at the level of UCLA and Duke and UNC...at least not in the way that you seem to imply. Please correct me if I'm interpreting this thread wrong...but suppose we were to beat UNC, Duke and N.C. State this year. Do you think that McKillop would immediately manhandle the admissions department to bring in great athletes that wouldn't normally fit Davidson's criteria? I don't think he would.

From what I understand, the goals of this athletic department are to make Davidson the premier place to play sports if you are smart, intelligent and of honorable character. We are not trying to be so successful that the admissions will begin lowering their standards for basketball players so that we can keep winning, get a new gym, spend more money, etc.

That being said, I hardly think that playing four games in November and December will do too much one way or another on their own. This is a step towards a larger vision...and that vision does not include compromising the values of Davidson College. At least to my understanding.

I hope that I made some sort of relevant point to the concerns raised. I might just have misunderstood completely.

Anonymous said...

www.woodenclassic.com is a good read

Betsy Hall, Ph.D. said...

It's wild to discover this web-site. I was a "Queens Freshman" in 1967-68 and went to all the games since I dated one of the team members. Now,40 years later I find myself the mom of A UCLA freshman. I just came on this site to see if I could find out how to get a ticket to the Davidson/UCLA game as no mention of it is on the UCLA schedule.... I want to sit in the Davidson section and bring back amazing memories including games against Chapel Hill... I don't know about most of the issues you speak, but there was a great group of ball players at Davidson and I have wonderful memories. Anybody remember "Rocky Crosswhite"...didn't play all that much but went on to Play in the Olympics for Australia and remains active force in international sports circles. ANY IDEA ON TICKETS WELCOME! (and now back to your conversation on academics/athletics) Betsy in Santa Rosa California